Facts About Thunderstorms
How much do you know about thunderstorms?
How much do you know about thunderstorms? These storms are so common that many of us rarely think about them, but they can actually be very dangerous.
While many thunderstorms cause little to no damage—and probably don’t even disrupt daily life—the high winds, lightning, hail, flooding and other issues of thunderstorms can cause damage to property and be hazardous to people and pets.
What is a thunderstorm, anyhow? Just what it sounds like! A thunderstorm is defined as any storm that contains thunder. A thunderstorm is recognized as severe when it contains hail that is one inch or larger and straight-line winds of 58 miles per hour or more.
How Thunderstorms Cause Damage
- Damage and injury from lightning strikes. Did you know that where there is thunder there is always lightning? That’s because the booming noise of thunder is actually caused by a lightning strike! These strikes can be dangerous, and it is reported that they cause around 300 injuries every year. Beyond injuries, lightning strikes can also cause fires and damage to your home or other property due to fallen tree branches.
- Property damage due to hail. When you think of hail, damage to cars probably comes to mind. But while hail does commonly damage cars, it can also cause damage to other property and even people. These frozen pellets vary in size, and when they’re larger, they can negatively impact your home’s roof or siding, leading to leaks and water damage.
- Harm from flash flooding. Flash floods can occur any time there is heavy rain for a plethora of reasons—even if storm drains back up or small ditches become filled with water, heavy rain can quickly turn these things into a life-threatening flooding scenario. And these dangerous floods can occur anywhere, not simply in places where there’s a known flood plain. If flash flood conditions are present, it’s important to stay off the roads. Even an inch of flood water can be dangerous and even deadly.
Preparing Your Home for Floods
If your home is prepared, the damage can be minimized.
As Michigan residents, we know that flood water can easily rise, turning your home into a flooded mess that needs extensive repairs. Although flooding from a burst pipe or flash flood can come quickly, if your home is prepared, the damage can be minimized. Here are tips to prepare your home for flooding:
- Install a Sump Pump
Sump pumps are installed in a pit in the lowest part of the home, such as the basement or crawlspace, and are designed to prevent water from entering the home. They automatically work to pump water out when it rises to a certain level.
- Raise Electric Components
Along with water damage, flooding also creates potential fire hazard situations. It is recommended that wiring, outlets, sockets and other electrical components be at least 12 inches above the structure’s projected flood elevation. A licensed electrician can raise them to meet those requirements.
- Waterproof Basements
An easy way to keep basements dry is to regularly maintain the outside of your home. Along with keeping gutters and drains free of debris, verifying the property slopes, and properly diverting water can keep water flowing away from the home.
- Keep Supplies On-hand
Flood water can come on fast and rapidly rise. If you know you have foundation issues or haven’t cleaned the gutters yet, keeping supplies, such as sandbags and tarps, on-hand can minimize the amount of water entering the home.
- Maintain a Checklist
Even if you are prepared, sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t care. When that happens, it is important that everyone in the home knows what to do and precautions are taken to minimize damage. The checklist should be easily accessible and include items such as disconnecting appliances and turning off the main power, gas line, and water supply.
24/7 Emergency Water Damage Service
There is never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike your business.
SERVPRO can respond immediately to your commercial water damage emergency regardless of the size or scope of the damage.
There is never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
- 24 Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any Size Disaster
- A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry with over 2,000 Franchises
- Highly Trained Water Damage Restoration Specialists
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO has specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it is the cornerstone of our business. If you have a fire or water emergency, call us anytime, day or night.
Always Prioritize Safety as You Grill
The risk of a grill fire is there every time you light yours up.
For us, enjoying summer is all about getting outside with family and firing up the grill, but safety is key to making sure this stays a fun activity. Grilling dangers are something many people do not discuss, but as with any open flame, the risk of a grill fire is there every time you light yours up. Fortunately, a bit of prevention goes a long way.
It is reported by the U.S. Fire Administration that grill fires occur at least 5,700 times every year, making them more prevalent than many realize. But grilling can be a fun and safe activity if you follow the proper fire safety protocols when you do it.
Keep Grilling Fun, Safe and Fire-Free
- Create a safe zone around your grill. It is convenient to place your grill in a spot close to your home but giving yourself plenty of surrounding space is important in case of flare-ups. Three feet is the recommended distance to have around your grill, free from wood, siding or any other flammable materials.
- Clean your grill grates often. By keeping your grill grates clean, you can keep the temperature inside your grill steadier and reduce the chances of a sudden fire starting. Built-on food particles can get extremely hot when the grill is in use, even suddenly igniting in some cases. A quick scrape after each grill session can go a long way in reducing this danger.
- Never leave the grill unattended. There is no safe way to ever leave a grill unattended, even if the lid is closed. Fires only take a second to start, so your best bet to circumvent damage is by always being nearby with a fire extinguisher just in case. Even for a quick break, it is best to have someone take over your grill station to keep a vigilant eye out.
- Inspect the grill regularly. The components of a grill are not made to last forever, and even if you are using yours regularly, you never know when something could finally give out. Before you ever light your grill, do a visual inspection to make sure everything looks like it is in good shape and there are no areas that could lead to a gas leak on your connectors.
Protecting Your Garden During Rainstorms
Although our gardens love a nice rain shower, too much rain can be harmful to all the plants.
Although our gardens love a nice rain shower, too much rain can be harmful to all the plants. After all the hard work you have done to manage your garden, do not let heavy rainstorms ruin it! Follow these tips to protect your garden during heavy storms:
- Remove damaged limbs and shoots – Removing dead limbs and shoots from your plants will help make them more streamlined and will reduce snapping and tangling.
- Add compost and mulch – Adding a couple of inches of compost to the top 8 to 12 inches of soil will help with drainage.
- Support taller plants – Push wooden or metal support into the ground and tie taller plants to it. This will help keep them stable against rain and strong winds.
- Drainage – Make sure there is a proper runoff that tilts away from your garden and make sure it is not blocked. Water collecting in your garden can be damaging to your plants, possibly drowning them.
- Cover your most delicate plants – Use a waterproof tarp to cover your most fragile plants during heavy rainstorms. Make sure that the covering is not blocking water from draining because it can cause other plants to drown.
- Check your vegetable roots – Once the rainstorm has stopped, make sure there are no exposed roots following soil erosion. If there are exposed roots, cover them with soil or compost before they dry out.
- Check your pots and planters – Pots and planters can easily become flooded if the drainage is blocked. Check them before, during and after rainstorms. You can always cover pots and planters if necessary.
- Pull weeds up by hand – The moist soil after rain means you are much more likely to retrieve the whole root without it snapping or breaking.
Need more tips? Go to The Plant Guide for more information on maintaining your garden during severe weather.
SERVPRO Insider – April 2023
Our newest issue of our quarterly newsletter is here!
Our newest issue of our quarterly newsletter is here! The SERVPRO Insider gives an inside look at what SERVPRO Team Miller has been up to!
Winter Storm Elliott swept across the Midwest in late December 2022. The Team Miller Disaster Recovery Team was dispatched to Kentucky when suppression lines broke in multiple buildings throughout the University of Kentucky campus. Learn just how much equipment our team utilized to get the buildings dry within a matter of days.
We are highlighting some of our amazing #GreenTeam events where we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day within our communities! Also featured are articles with helpful facts about surviving thunderstorms and maintaining a home to prevent flooding basements.
Each newsletter comes with a special feature on the services that SERVPRO offers. The service of this quarter: Specialty Cleaning Services. SERVPRO is more than just fire, water, and storm damage restoration. Our team offers specialty cleaning services like carpet cleaning, hoarding house cleanup, odor removal, and more. Take a peek to learn more!
If you’d like to subscribe to receive our full quarterly newsletters, send us a request at email@example.com.
Preparing Your Business for Restoration After a Disaster
It’s crucial to have a plan in place to help you deal with more common types of disasters that business owners can face.
Our team wants to ask business owners a powerful question: What is the most important lesson you learned in the past two years?
Many business owners say they learned that it’s not always possible to plan for the future—or to see an event that will impact your business coming. Others will say that they’ve had to find new ways to engage with their customers and continue providing services. These are essential lessons that will carry on to other parts of the business, too. While none of us saw a pandemic coming, it’s crucial to have a plan in place to help you deal with more common types of disasters that business owners can face, like fires, flooding or severe storms.
Because our SERVPRO team wants to be a resource for business owners in our area, we’ve put together some powerful advice to help you if you ever need commercial restoration services.
What You Need to Know About Starting a Restoration Project
The majority of business owners can open their doors again after a fire or flood damages their business. It’s possible to not only open again but also to be more successful.
Here’s how we recommend you start the process:
- Your disaster plan is a crucial component. Invest in a disaster plan before you need it and do everything you can to follow it in the aftermath of a fire, flood or another type of natural disaster. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when your business is damaged, so knowing what you will do in advance helps. You may want to think about moving your business to a backup location so you can continue operating.
- Document all your damage. You’ll want to take plenty of pre-cleanup photos of your property to show your insurance company. It’s smart to inventory the items inside your business that were damaged, compromised or destroyed. Include the values of these items on your inventory list.
- Don’t forget to update your community. Providing your suppliers, your employees, your customers and your wider community with regular updates about your progress, a temporary location or your reopening is essential.
If a fire, flood or any other cause damages your business, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 24/7 in the event of an emergency.
Count on Our Team When Minutes Matter
If you need restoration services this year, it’s vital to choose a team to work with ready to start the process quickly.
The reasons people in our community will seek help with restoration services in 2021 are as varied as the homeowners themselves. But there are a few common reasons that homeowners will need restoration help. People reach out to SERVPRO for reasons that include severe weather issues, such as wind, hail and rain. Accidents and appliance malfunctions are also common reasons people need help from home restoration professionals.
If you need restoration services this year, it’s vital to choose a team to work with ready to start the process quickly. Why does that matter? Because when it comes to restoration work, all projects have one thing in common. Timing is everything.
Why Timing Matters
Damage to your home can grow worse, much faster than you might think. For example, the water damage that starts as a minor inconvenience can quickly begin to warp the wood in your home and stain or fade expensive, upholstered fabrics. It can also start the mold damage process in your home—in as little as a few hours.
How SERVPRO Can Help You
Our team understands how important it is to get the restoration process started quickly, so we’re available to help you 24/7. We’re here when you need us, and if you have an emergency, we can start the process fast.
There are other good reasons to choose SERVPRO, too. Here’s what makes us different:
- Our highly skilled technicians are using the best available technology. When you partner with us, you can be certain that the team coming to your home has the most up-to-date certifications, training and technology backing them. We can do this because we’re affiliated with SERVPRO’s national brand.
- Our business is local. All SERVPRO locations are locally owned and operated by people in your community. That means when you call us, you’re connecting with friends and neighbors. We want to help you restore your home to its original state.
Simple Steps to Prevent House Fires
More house fires happen during the winter than at any point during the year.
Staying warm is a top priority for most families in Michigan during the winter. It’s essential, though, that you keep safety at the top of your mind. Why? Because more house fires happen during the winter than at any point during the year. Not only do these winter fires cause property damage, but they also can cause injuries and deaths. Experts in the industry estimate that about 890 Americans die in winter house fires every year.
Some of the best fire prevention tips experts have to offer won’t cost you much time or money to incorporate into your daily life. Plus, they address some of the most common causes of house fires in the winter.
Easy Ways to Prevent Fires in Your Home
- Be sure you’ve had your furnace inspected. Even furnaces that seem to be working well can have issues. It’s smart to have a professional check it for maintenance issues. These inspections can find dirty, clogged vents or rusted blades that can signify a fire hazard.
- Be careful with how you burn candles. Candles are one of the most common causes of house fires at any time of year. They don’t look like they could cause issues, but candles can be hazardous if left to burn long-term or unsupervised.
- Don’t use extension cords for space heaters. The safest way to use these items is to plug them directly into the wall. If you need to rearrange your furniture a little, it’s a smart move and makes your home safer.
Fire Risk During the Winter
SERVPRO is here to help you and your family if your home suffers fire damage.
House fires are common in the United States—something millions of Americans will deal with over the next year. And that number likely includes members of the community here. SERVPRO is here to help you and your family if your home suffers fire damage. Our team is prepared to help you remediate and repair in the aftermath of a fire.
Why Your Risk Is Higher During the Winter
Fires can happen at any time, but they’re more common during the colder winter months—especially where residents may need to use furnaces, space heaters and more to heat their homes. Here are some household risks during the winter.
- Space heaters without automatic shutoff functions can topple over.
- Candles left burning can fall over if a family member or guest knocks on the wrong table.
- Kitchen fires happen more often, as many home chefs are creating special treats for the holidays.
- Christmas tree accidents cause numerous fires every year.
- Broken furnaces and issues with appliances can also happen throughout cold winter months.